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Bringing out the old, ringing in the new with crime dramas

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The scene begins with three men with cases walking down the long dark-lit street. They stop, seeing a man with a gun. He questions them of their whereabouts and wants to know what’s inside the cases. At the end of the dark street are men standing with cars; one with its headlights on. The three men, feigning innocence, put down their cases, open them up and take out violins and begin to play. Ah! Musicians the gunned thug is thinking.

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As the men begin their virtuoso out of nowhere a lady appears with a baby carriage, awed by the music. She parks the carriage besides the men and takes off. The violinist close to the carriage quickly hands machine guns from the carriage to his boys and they kill the gunned thug. The three gangsters walk toward the end street; a gunfire battle ensues with others at the end, all are murdered except one injured in a car. The climax comes in the scene when a stick of dynamite is thrown in the car which explodes in a fiery ball.

This bullet-ridden scenario is the beginning of the three part TNT series “Mob City” in which Bugsy Siegal and his criminal pals give you an idea of what’s to come.

The heavily marketed program is one of many that has started the middle of the 2013/2014 primetime television season. This is the time when programs are leaving to return for next season, booted off, or new shows crop up to a hungry audience thirsting for new adventures.

Insidetv.ew.com gives a description of the series –

This new series tells the true story of a decades-long conflict between the Los Angeles Police Department, under the determined leadership of Police Chief William Parker, and ruthless criminal elements led by Mickey Cohen, a one-time boxer who rose to the top of L.A.’s criminal world. The new drama stars Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead) as Joe Teague, an ex-Marine now working as an LAPD cop in an era rampant with police corruption. Jeffrey DeMunn (The Walking Dead, The Shawshank Redemption) plays Det. Hal Morrison, who heads up the LAPD’s new mob squad, with Jeremy Strong (The Happening, Lincoln) as Det. Mike Hendry, Morrison’s second in command. Neal McDonough (Captain America, Desperate Housewives) is Capt. William Parker, Teague’s boss who is determined to weed out corruption and bring down Mickey Cohen. And Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes) plays Ned Stax, who fought alongside Teague during World War II but who now works as a lawyer with connections to the mob. In the pilot, Simon Pegg (Star Trek, Shaun of the Dead) guest-stars as Hecky Nash, a third-rate comedian and mob hanger-on.

What better way to display crime drama form than Mob City, which premiered Wednesday night at 9, a three-part event; and “Bonnie and Clyde: Dead and Alive,” a three network, two-part event, premiering tomorrow on Sunday, Dec. 8 and concluding on the 9th.

Bonnie and Clyde, the infamous lovers/robbers/outlaws whose real life has been done time and again, will be shown on three networks – A&E, Lifetime and History channels. The marketing catch, “He held the gun, she called the shots” is shown in commercials in colorful darkness, awaiting an audience to see new thrills they haven’t seen before in the original film. The new couple looks are more glamorous and well kept, much like the movie that starred Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty that was a smash hit. The 1967 film was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won two.

Actor Emile Hirsh plays Clyde Barrow while actress Holliday Grainger plays Bonnie Parker. The cast also stars Academy Award winners Holly Hunter and William Hurt, along with actress Sarah Hyland. Hunter and Hurt played together in the 1987 film “Broadcast News,” which was nominated for seven Academy Awards.

TNT primetime also has other crime drama scenarios that are new or recurring. The list includes:

Boston Finest. Tuesday nights at 9. A reality show series in its second season about the daily operations of the Boston Police Department.

Cold Justice. A real life crime series by executive producer/crime marvel Dick Wolf. The show was renewed for a second season and airs Tuesdays at 10.

Marshal Law: Texas. A crime-oriented reality series concentrating on Task Force Members of the U.S. Marshal Service. The program premiered Nov.26.

Major Crimes. Actress Mary McDonnell continues in another season as Capt. Sharon Raydor and most of the former cast of the crime program “The Closer” that ran for seven seasons. The Closer is in syndication on TNT and other network stations. Major Crimes airs Mondays at 9.

Rizzoli and Isles and Perception will bring new episodes on Feb.25.

Other networks bringing new/final episodes are –

Sons of Anarchy (FX). The season finale ended this week and has been renewed.

Justified (FX). FXnetworks.com reveals going into Season 5 Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (the main character played by actor Timothy Olyphant) “unravels a 30-year-old cold case and a riddle that echoes all the way back to his childhood and father.” As a fan, my curiosity will have to wait when the show premieres on Jan. 7 at 10.

The Bridge (FX). This crime thriller just finished its episodes but is renewed for another season which starts in the summer. The program is based on the Danish/Swedish crime drama Broen/Bron. It involves two policemen, one American, one Mexican, dealing with the atrocities on the Texas/Mexican border.

Boardwalk Empire (HBO). The Season 4 finale aired on Nov. 22 and episodes are still being shown. The Atlantic City, N.J. setup during the Prohibition Era has been renewed. HBO is also showing the popular series “The Sopranos” in syndication for your viewing pleasure.

Banshee (Cinemax). A new 2013 crime drama. A description from imbd.com written by megcak555 –

Lucas Hood (Antony Starr), an ex-con and master thief assumes the identity of a murdered sheriff where he continues his criminal activities. His past seems to haunt him by those he betrayed years earlier. This ex-con imposes his own brand of justice where violence erupts at every turn in the not so quiet Amish town, Banshee, Pennsylvania.

The Borgais (Showtime). The show was cancelled June 16 after three seasons but is still running on Showtime. The program’s plot involved the infamous Borgais family who used intimidation and murder to keep their wealth and power; including their rise in the Catholic Church. Academy Award winning actor Jeremy Irons plays the main character, the ruthless and sinful Pope Alexander VI.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX). This program is not the regular crime-ridden drama you see in many police procedurals but is a comedy about Brooklyn’s (New York) 99th precinct. It is described as a “new single-camera ensemble comedy about what happens when a talented but carefree detective and his diverse group of colleagues get a new captain with a lot to prove.”

The main stars are actors Andre Braugher (“Men of a Certain Age” and Homicide: Life on the Street”) as the new captain and Andy Samberg (“Saturday Night Live”) as the detective.

Almost Human (FOX). From Hollywoodreporter.com –

Almost Human (previously Human, the untitled Bad Robot/J.H. Wyman project)
Logline: The action-packed police drama is set 35 years in the future, when police officers are partnered with highly evolved human-like androids. An unlikely connection is forged when a cop with an aversion to robots and a robot with unexpected emotional responses investigate cases in a brave new world.

The program premiered on Nov. 17. The two detectives are actors Keith Urban and Michael Ealy.

The problem – with all the white characters on the show, why is the black guy (Ealy) the android; therefore the “almost human,” with no last name (Dorian). Ealy, a handsome guy, was a cop in a cable program last year called “Common Law” that was hacked. Now he plays a cop that is “almost human.” This is a historical irksome for me. This so-called sci-fi crime drama isn’t worth the watch.

Intelligence (CBS). The new cyber-security espionage has a special premiere on Jan. 7 at 9.

Chicago PD (NBC). Another show by executive producer Dick Wolf, who also has a current show on NBC called “Chicago Fire” seen Tuesdays at 10. Chicago PD is a police drama in Chicago’s Precinct 21. Premiere date: Jan. 8 at 10.

The biggest crime drama flop this fall – Ironside. The series remake of the popular crime drama which first aired in 1967 and lasted for eight seasons was yanked off the air after three weeks (Oct. 2 – 23). NBC blamed low ratings for the pull.

TVby the numbers.com reported this –

"Ironside is an unnecessary, lackluster remake that could be a decent police procedural if it wasn't so mundane and monotonous.

Brian Tallerico of HollywoodChicago called it the "Worst New Drama of 2013" and awarded it 1 star out of 5, saying: "[Ironside is] the most cliched, least believable, least fun, and just awful new drama of the year. It is aggressively bad. Avoid at all costs. Blair Underwood... deserves better than the horrendous, uninteresting writing here. [Ironside] should be a way to explore how our physical well-being is only one part of our lives and how we approach our work, even crimefighting. It’s not. It’s just manipulative drama that hopes to make you stand up and cheer by reminding you over and over again how tough its title character remains."

Find more about 2013 TV shows in the Washington Post below.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/style/2013/12/06/best-tv-shows-of-2013/

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